Cultural heritage and pristine beaches lure tourists and keep this town of 4000 people humming.
Story + Photos Kristin Weidenbach
At the height of the copper-mining years in the late 1800s, Moonta boasted the largest population in the state outside of Adelaide. ‘Cousin Jack’ miners from Cornwall flocked to the region, on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, to dig up copper of world famous purity.
Moonta gave Australia Cornish pasties and carols by candlelight – when the miners downed tools at the bottom of the mine shaft to sing using the light cast by candles stuck with a daub of clay to the front of their mining helmets.
Today, that cultural heritage and pristine beaches lure tourists and keep the town of 4000 people humming. “Moonta is a lovely, picturesque town,” says Lynn Spurling, Tourism Centre coordinator for Copper Coast Council and president of the Kernewek Lowender, the biennial ‘Cornish happiness’ festival that draws 45,000 visitors to the region for pasties, maypole dancing and a celebration of the pioneering forebears.
This story excerpt is from Issue #119
Outback Magazine: June/July 2018